'Are you still… you know?' and other questions dickhead family members ask at Christmas

THE season of joy and giving is also a time for knobhead family members to ask insensitive questions, like these: 

‘When’s the wedding?’

Hugely inappropriate no matter your relationship status. If you’re in a relationship you’ve now got to swerve the question without upsetting your partner, if you’re engaged then it’s an awkward reminder no date’s set because it’s not going well, and if you’ve made up a girlfriend it’s a prompt that you really should come out to your parents.

‘Bought a house yet?’

Ah, the one thing you want bringing up at the most expensive time of the year is that you will never own property. After all, life is nothing but a series of milestones to be passed and Christmas is a depressing, annual run-through those missed milestones so you can be admonished, like a dental check-up.

‘Are you still… you know?’

Still what? Unemployed? Vegetarian? A woman? Your family member won’t specify, but they will make a sad little wincing expression then sit back for you to guess what they’re on about. Whichever circumstance you choose to elaborate on they will zone out and mentally file away your life choice as ‘just a phase’.

‘Have you put on weight?’

It’s unacceptable to tell someone to their face they’re a fat prick. That’s why your auntie couches it as a question and leaves you to explain yes, you’ve piled on a few pounds. What do they expect? It’s Christmas. You’ve eaten your body weight in roast potatoes and Malteasers. They’ve got to go somewhere and that somewhere is your waist.

‘So, what about this [controversial topic of the day]?’

This is not polite conversation and it won’t end well. Your uncle doesn’t really give a shit about your views on Just Stop Oil or strikes or trans rights. They’re waiting for you to be wrong so they can sound off their ill-informed opinions from that morning’s GB News. This is why you see them once a year, maximum.

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Little Donkey, and other carols you only know four lines of

THE opening lines of Christmas carols are belted out, but after that voices quickly fade. Nobody remembers how the f**k these go: 

Silent Night

You begin with supreme confidence as it starts with the most famous bit, but shit goes south faster than Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. It’s about the clear, crisp evening when Jesus was born, but the actual silence is you struggling to remember what comes after ‘all is calm, all is bright’.

Ding Dong Merrily on High

Another one where you come in powerfully before your memory abandons you entirely. Who knew the sky was ‘riven’ with angels or steeple bells were ‘swungen’; are those even words? Mumble vaguely until leaping back for ‘gloria’ and a strong ‘hosanna in excelsis’ and hope someone else can carry the middle.

Little Donkey

Once you’ve established this diminutive donkey is on a dusty road to Bethlehem while carrying a heavy load, ie Christ, his mum, an enormous amount of theological baggage, you get foggy on the words. And no, the rhyme for ‘on a dusty road’ isn’t ‘wired to explode’. You’re confusing it with Die Hard. 

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Exactly four lines. As soon as you sing ‘born on Christmas Day’ the rest of the song is a complete mystery. It could be about the titular gentlemen smoking opium through hookah pipes, it could be a mash-up with Ronan Keating’s Life Is A Rollercoaster for all you know. It’s a memory loss as comprehensive as a tequila blackout.

Twelve Days of Christmas

Less a carol, and more an implement of mental torture. An impossible, lyrical Rubik’s Cube only cracked by schoolkids who’ve learned it for their Christmas concert. Geese a-laying? Lords a-leaping? Cooks a-frying? Foxes a-shagging? Junkies a-scoring? After five gold rings you’re f**ked, you know it, everyone knows it. Give up there.